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Diablo 3 Podcast #146: Patch 2.1, Story, and Blizzcon D3X2?

Lots on this show, including PTR Patch 2.1′s big changes, legendary item buffs, Paragon 1000 achieved, the Stash space emergency and micro-transactions, Diablo 3′s story and “demon soul hooks,” and Blizzcon 2014 Diablo 3 expansion announcement expectations. Featuring Flux, N3rdwords and Neinball.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 2:30 — Paragon 1000 has been achieved. Does everyone have amazement?
  • 5:00 — Seasons and Patch 2.1 should go live simultaneously?
  • 11:00 — Legendary item buffs on the PTR. Looking forward to new items when 2.1 goes live, since Blizzard doesn’t hate the Monk (currently). Hydra build rules, but intentionally bugged on PTR?
  • 18:30 — Story implications of the Black Soulstone and why Diablo is free in Prime Evil form. Adria setting “demon soul hooks” is obviously a metcon, but is it parsimonious with the larger story/lore/plot? Both guests surprisingly say yes.
  • 27:00 — Is Diablo 3 + expansion packs self-contained? Will Diablo 4 be set a week later just continuing the same story? Or a totally new story, set centuries earlier or later?
  • 37:30 — Stash space insufficient = biggest problem in Diablo 3? One guest disagrees.
  • 40:00 — Most fans accept micro-transactions these days. Why isn’t Blizzard selling more stash tabs yet? Votes have shown most fans would accept this.
  • 47:30 — Diablo 3 expansion #2 announced at Blizzcon later this year? Everyone votes yes, though tentatively.
  • 52:00 — There are a lot of Blizzard games out and/or under development. Busiest days ever in Irvine?
  • 54:00 — Bonus secret trick to guarantee Greed’s Domain entrance?!?

  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated

    A fan assembled all six of the class-specific item sets in Reaper of Souls, took pics of them on each gender for each class, and provided views from all angles. It’s quite a useful presentation, and credit to Zeldrin for creating it.

    I found it interesting since I’d never actually seen the full sets so clearly. Everyone’s got a few or all of the items from each set, but usually mixed with other gear, some transmogged or vanishing dyed, etc. So here they are, unadulterated and straight from the D3 artist’s tablets to your screen. All the sets (except for Firebird’s, which adds a source) consist of six items: helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, and boots, so visually they are pretty much apples to apples comparisons. So here are Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated:


    DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    DiabloWikiArmor Of Akkhan (armory), Crusader set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.

    Demon Hunter

    DiabloWikiEmbodiment of the Marauder (armory), Demon Hunter set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    DiabloWikiRaiment of a Thousand Storms (armory), Monk set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.

    Witch Doctor

    DiabloWikiHelltooth Harness (armory), Witch Doctor set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots. (This set apparently lacks the light weight and flexibility of the huge slabs of unrefined steel that the other classes have strapped to their bodies, as both of these weary medical professionals are bent double beneath the weight of their assorted shark teeth, baboon femurs, and coconut shells.)


    DiabloWikiFirebird’s Finery (armory), Wizard set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, source, legs, boots. (Firebird’s has a seventh item, a Source, which is the only difference in the slots filled by these sets.)

    Diablo 3 “Gear Sets”

    This whole presentation reminds me of the hot (pre-game) topic of DiabloWikiGear Sets. We’ve got a big wiki article about them, and “Gear Sets” was a regular news category from 2010-2012, with 29 news items so categorized.

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    Stillman’s Slab #41: Blizzard’s Stance on the Environment

    Posted 27 May 2010 by

    The environment must diiiiiiiieeee! Basically, you should turn the environment into the Gulf of Mexico. But this weeks discussion is really about the added variety of monsters from the environment who want you and your little sister dead. You better destroy everything in sight just to be safe. Click through below to learn what what Acid Cloud could mean for Diablo 3.

    Blizzard’s Stance on the Environment

    I don’t know about you, but I am relieved. Instead of the heroes’ culture being all about worshiping a giant, cheesy mecca tree, their job is to destroy the giant mecca trees. For once, the environment is evil and must be put in its rightful lowly place in the ground…which I guess helps the soil anyway? But the soil is probably evil too, so use your ground thumping skills after you kill all the trees. Yes, everything is out to kill you. The Gnarled Walkers look like something from Teddy Ruxpin’s nightmares and are listed in the wiki as animal type of monsters. Diablo 2 had the somewhat similar Acid Cloud which were also categorized as animals. They look like plants to me…


    I demand my right to beat up plants like everyone else, but it needs to be official! They ought to be called plants (not animals) because…they are plants, obviously. So why does everything have to be categorized into Acid Cloud types? Why not add a plant type of monster?

    There is great potential for other plant monsters such as vines, giant Venus fly traps, cacti of genital molestation, and poisonous shrooms that make your character way too high to function properly. While they are at it, there could be a golem type, spectral type and other monster categories added. Diablo 2 also had structural objects that attacked you. That sounds like another potentially good monster type, especially in a game where the environment itself is destructible. The main point is that demon, animal, and undead are way too few monster types, especially for Diablo 3 which is going out of its way to include far more monsters than Diablo 2 had. Adding more monster types would only affect the % damage and attack rating modifiers to demons and undead (which might not even be in Diablo 3) by adding more fun affixes. And more of everything is a good thing. 

    Variety is the key to entertainment, as the famous and true quote goes. Diablo 3 is striving for far more item modifiers anyway, along with more monsters, and probably item types. Anyone ever hear of a gaff, that axe thingy used in the Gameplay Video? Didn’t think so. So why stop there? The Diablo world is big enough now to have many more damage types, monster types, trap effects, gear slots, and so on. Although there are two new gear slots (pants and shoulder armor), there could be more because…more is better. Always.

    Having the same four elements (fire, cold, lightning, and poison) chucked at you in Diablo 2 got a little boring. So why not add more of those too? How about acid damage, holy/unholy damage, and pest damage? Acid Cloud is very wrongly counted as poison damage, which is silly. Acids are not poisons or your own saliva would kill you, as would vinegar and gastric juices, all of which work identically to the acid in any Acid Cloud. Apart from making more sense, including more damage types would add more challenge, more time to fully understand and master the game and its monsters, and more resistances which means more diverse loot would be needed. Diablo 3 should strive to outdo past Diablo games in every way rather than just meeting the old standard. 

    Why? Well, because there are unforeseen item types, modifiers and possibly even damage types that may become all but ignored in Diablo 3. Look at what happened with Diablo 2: many, many skills are not even looked at by most players anymore. Monster poison damage is useless. There are scores of item modifiers in Diablo 2 that are completely useless and ignored. Traps and their effects are repetitious and pointless. It is best to simply add more of everything to Diablo 3 in anticipation of these problems so the game does not become a contest to see who is best at ignoring things. No one can fully predict the future, but they can add more layers of bricks to their bomb shelter.

    It is also just too easy and convenient to toss everything into demon, animal, and undead types for whatever strange reasoning. They could argue that the angry trees out to kill you are ?animalistic? in their actions, or they are not demons nor undead, so therefore, that leaves animal type. But that is just being lazy. The days of laziness should end. Everything in Diablo 3 should strive to make a little more sense. Come on, we deserve at least a plant type after going around slicing swarms of insects to death with a scimitar in Diablo 2, and kicking tiny clay pots open to free pole arms that were folded up in there.

    In conclusion, more variety can only be a good thing. It was a little too easy and boring in Diablo 2 to raise all your resistances up (hell, there were only four of them, and poison could be ignored). What if there were more resistances? This would add some serious challenge. It was also too easy to slap on Laying of Hands and do a ridiculous 350% enhanced damage to demons…which were about a third of the monsters in the game! Well, what if there were plant, golem, structural, and spectral types to dilute that power? That would be challenging. What if there was more to traps than, ?This is going to zap me with one of the four elements of which I am 75% immune? and you had to be a bit more careful? Although the traps look much more advanced in Diablo 3, let us hope other aspects follow that example rather than relying on the same minimalist set of rules from Diablo 2. They should just add a ton more of everything. Who knows, maybe they will.

    You know, the Gnarled Walker picture kind of looks like my tipsy father. You can see him waving to a crowd of other useless drunks who ought to be put down, and you can almost make out an armful of beverages as he approaches their table. Too bad you can’t make paper out of people instead of just trees…or can you? 

    Join me next week as I discuss how my father spent my college fund buying rounds for his drinking buddies, and now I am all grown up and ready to brutally murder all those drinking buddies with power tools plus anyone who I suspect is a bad provider based on simple observation. Oh wait. That’s the next Halloween special. Next week, we will be talking about other artsy stuff in Diablo 3 like what I did last week. That’s what I meant to say.

    Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of

    Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.



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